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Title: When english is not a mother tongue: Linguistic ownership and the eurasian community in Singapore
Authors: Wee, L. 
Issue Date: 2002
Citation: Wee, L. (2002). When english is not a mother tongue: Linguistic ownership and the eurasian community in Singapore. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 23 (4) : 282-295. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The spread of English asa global language has led tothe question of 'ownership'. Who, it is often asked, really owns English? The answer to this question, it is suggested, has implications for a variety of issues such as what standards of English are acceptable, how it should be taught, and how problems of intelligibility ought to be approached. In this paper, I first point out some of the different ways in which linguistic ownership can be manifested. I then look at the case of the Eurasian community in Singapore, and its calls that English be accorded mother-tongue status for that community. I examine the Government's lack of support for such calls, and try to show why this might be so. I argue that in the case of Singapore, linguistic ownership is part of an overall government strategy of managing ethnic relations. As such, claims of ownership of the English language must be understood in the context of how they might affect such a strategy. © 2002 L. Wee.
Source Title: Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
ISSN: 01434632
DOI: 10.1080/01434630208666470
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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